The HUD investigation follows on the heels of a study in November by the office of Councilman Eric Gioia (D-Sunnyside), which discovered that 16 sex offenders were living in Queens public housing developments and a total of 205 lived in citywide developments. Two of the Queens offenders have since been removed from Ravenswood Houses in Astoria, a spokesman for Gioia said.Western Queens contains a substantial number of the borough's public housing residents at Astoria Houses, Woodside Houses, Ravenswood and Long Island City's Queensbridge Houses, which is the nation's largest development."It is against federal law, against city policy and simply wrong for predators to be living in public housing," Gioia said. "The city should not be subsidizing rapists and pedophiles. It is a threat to public safety and an insult to taxpayers."HUD officials could not specify how many of the 78 registered offenders uncovered in the investigation were from Queens. But NYCHA is speeding up eviction proceedings against 59 of the offenders, a HUD spokesman said. The remaining 19 offenders were on parole and were ordered to leave public housing and relocate, the spokesman said.In addition, HUD found that 118 convicted sex offenders who listed public housing addresses as their current residencies did not actually live in the developments, making them fugitives, the spokesman said.A spokesman for the Housing Authority said federal law precludes registered sex offenders from living in public housing.The HUD investigation found that only 3 percent of 3,000 city offenders who have been ordered by court to remain on the sex offender registry for life were found to live in public housing developments.Reach reporter Nathan Duke by e-mail at news@times
©2007 Community News Group
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